#1094: Aliens TRU 3

KANE, PHANTOM XENOMORPH, HIVEWORLD RED ALIEN, HIVEWORLD ALIEN, LT. GORMAN, & ATTACKING ALIEN WARRIOR

ALIENS MINIMATES

alienstru3a

After almost two weeks of Star Wars coverage, I’m switching over to another popular sci-fi franchise (and perhaps my favorite sci-fi franchise at that), the Alien franchise!  I’ll be taking another look at the ever growing Aliens Minimates line today, with that latest round of Toys R Us-exclusive ‘mates.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The six figures covered today are all from the third TRU-exclusive series of Aliens Minimates.  Currently, five of the six figures are exclusive to this set, with only the Attacking Alien Warrior being a repeat, though there will also be a slightly differently deco-ed Kane available with the upcoming Space Jockey set.

SPACE SUIT KANE & PHANTOM XENOMORPH

alienstru3eAlthough the whole line is under the Aliens banner, that doesn’t stop DST from including sets based on the first movie from time to time (as a matter of fact, the entire third specialty assortment was Alien themed).  Kane’s shown up as a ‘mate before in the 35th Anniversary set, but this time around, he’s wearing his pressure suit, an important look for the character.  The figure uses the base Minimate body, and as such stands about 2 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He has add-ons for the helmet, torso, belt, upper legs, shin coverings, and wrist bands.  These pieces are shared with the other pressure-suited characters from the third specialty assortment, but Kane’s my first look at the pieces.  They do a very nice job of translating the movie look into ‘mate form, and there’s definitely some great detail work here.  The generic upper leg pieces look a little strange compared to the more detailed pieces, but they work well, and you do have to draw the line somewhere.  The paintwork on Kane is pretty great, actually.  The design of the helmet doesn’t allow space for anything more than the basic head under it, so Kane’s cap from the film is just painted on, but it actually looks pretty decent.  The face appears to be the same one used on the first Kane, but it’s lower on the head this time, which makes it look a bit better.  The rest of the details are all pretty sharp, and I appreciate that the quilted pattern goes all the way up his chest, rather than stopping at the armored piece.  Kane was packed with a sidearm, a flashlight, and a clear display stand.

alienstru3dThe Phantom Xenomorph is pretty much the same figure as the Xeno included in the Crew of the Nostromo set, but molded in smokey grey tinted translucent plastic.  To that end, he’s a little over 2 1/2 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation.  As far as variants of the Big Chap go, this one’s pretty fun, and certainly a bit more exciting than the slight head variations we’ve gotten before.  His only accessory is a clear display stand.

HIVEWORLD ALIENS

alienstru3bRemember when NECA did these guys?  Well, it’s pretty much the same principle here.  They’re based on the two warring factions of Xenos from Aliens: Genocide, and are really just another inventive way of getting two more Xeno variants out there.  They both use the standard Xeno parts, with the Red one using the “screaming” head, and the black one the closed-mouth one.  The Red Xeno is nice and vibrant, and definitely sticks out.  That being said, the Black Xeno isn’t just a straight rehash of what we’ve seen before; rather than straight black, he’s actually a very dark blue, much like the black drones were in the actual comic art.  It’s a subtle change, but it at least makes him a little different.  These two include clear display stands and nothing else.  If I’m honest, that’s a little bit of a letdown.  I had sort of hoped these might be along the lines of the Red vs Blue Spartan set from the Halo Minimates line, where a number of different pieces would be included to build all three variants of the standard Xeno (closed mouth, screaming, and inner mouth extended), but I can see how that might have not been cost effective.

DRESS UNIFORM LT. GORMAN & ATTACKING ALIEN WARRIOR

alienstru3cLt. Gorman makes his first appearance here, albeit in a more obscure uniform.  The standard Gorman’s going to be packed with the upcoming APC, so this set includes Gorman in his dress uniform from when he and Burke go to meet Ripley about returning to LV-426.  Gorman’s mostly a vanilla-mate, with only a belt add-on.  He’s missing his hat from that scene, but I don’t believe there’s a proper hat available to re-use, and new tooling obviously wasn’t an option.  This figure is mostly carried by the paintwork, which does a pretty good job recreating Gorman’s look from early in the film.  I’m not sure the head really captures William Hope, but it’s a fair attempt.  It’s worth noting that, like both Apones, Gorman’s patch still incorrectly reads “USMC”, not “USCM” like it should.  It’s a minor issue of course, but it might be nice for DST to catch that one of these days.  Gorman includes a handgun and a clear display stand.

We’ve seen this Alien Warrior several times before, starting with the Aliens vs Marines army dump set that kicked off the line.  It’s a pretty standard Xeno, so it’s hard to complain about it showing up again.  It being packed with this version of Gorman seems a bit odd, since he didn’t wear his dress uniform on the planet, but I suppose the Alien is here to make the set a little less stuffy.  The Alien includes two eggs (one opened, one closed) and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed this whole set at my local TRU a couple of months back.  They’re a bit of a mixed bag really.  Kane and the Phantom Xeno are by far the winning set here, in terms of both execution and excitement factor.  The Genocide pack is decent, but the lack of any sort of extras makes it feel like a bit of a missed opportunity.  Gorman and the Attacking Alien are perfectly fine, and it’s cool to finally have a Gorman, but nothing about this set is particularly exciting.  All in all, I’m glad to have this series, and there’s a lot to like, but they don’t have the same “wow” factor as previous series.

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#0464: Alien Minimates

ALIEN, RIPLEY, KANE, & PARKER

ALIEN MINIMATES

You know how I said I hadn’t reviewed enough Minimates lately? You know what else I just haven’t reviewed enough of? Alien and Aliens stuff. Just not enough of it.

So, welcome to another Alien-themed review, which, by the way, is also yet another Christmas Review. Yeah, they seem to be the song that will not end. At this rate, I kind of expect to sporadically be reviewing last year’s Christmas gifts until this Christmas. Won’t that be fun?

When Diamond Select Toys picked up the Aliens license, there was some confusion as to whether this meant we’d also be seeing Minimates of the characters from the first movie. As it turned out, yes, though as more of their own thing, and less as a subset. So, without further ado, Alien Minimates.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were released as part of a boxed set celebrating the 35th anniversary of Alien. They were supposed to be out last year, you know, for the actual anniversary, but they encountered a few delays, making them a mid-January 2015 release.

ALIEN

It would be ridiculous to release a set without the titular creature, so here it is! It’s referred to simply as “Alien” on the package, but this is the design most commonly known as the Big Chap, the creature from the first movie. The figure is a little over 2 ½ inches tall and it features 16 points of articulation. The figure is built on the standard Minimate body, with a non-standard head, hands, and feet, as well as an add-on for the torso and tail. From the neck down, all of the pieces are identical to those of the three Alien Warriors included in the Aliens Minimates Army Dump set. Since the Alien designs in the two movies are similar, this is a pretty sensible re-use, and the pieces are still fantastically sculpted. My only real complaint is that the hands technically should have six fingers, instead of the three fingered Aliens design, but at this scale and style that’s minor. The head is the one new piece, and it’s very well done. It features the first movie’s signature head dome, as well as the skull detailing underneath, and it looks really good. It’s also a bit bigger than the Aliens head, which looks a bit better in retrospect. The paint is also identical to the normal Aliens Warrior from the neck down, with the exception of the upper arms, which have a slight change in detailing. There’s also some detailing under the dome, outlining the skull. All of the paintwork is clean and sharp, and the detailing is really great. The Alien’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

RIPLEY

Much as you can’t do the set without the titular character, it would also be odd to get an Alien set that didn’t feature Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of the original film and the true star of the film series. Ripley is 2 ½ inches in height and features 14 points of articulation. She’s based on Ripley’s appearance from the second half of the film, while she’s running through the Nostromo avoiding the creature. She’s built on the standard Minimate body, with a sculpted hairpiece, a watch, and rolled up sleeves. The hairpiece is a re-use from For A Few Dollars More’s El Indio, which is a perfect piece for Ripley’s look… in Aliens. Sadly, it’s totally off for her look in Alien, where her hair was a fair bit longer. Looking through their back catalog of pieces, there isn’t one that’s a natural fit for Ripley in Alien, so I suppose they were just trying to make the best of what they had. It just doesn’t really work. Ripley’s paintwork is generally pretty good, aside from one issue: the likeness on the face isn’t quite there. It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t really look like Sigourney Weaver. DST did a pretty good job capturing Weaver in the Ghostbusters line, so I’m not sure what happened here. Fortunately, there are a few alternatives, so it’s not a total loss. The rest of the paint is quite well done, with lots of really great detail work, which even continues onto her back. Ripley includes a flame thrower, Jonesy the cat, and a clear display stand.

KANE

Alien35th6In spite of John Hurt’s resistance to his likeness being used, Kane seems to turn up quite a bit in Alien product. Not a huge shock, seeing as his role as the carrier of the first Xeno is pretty pivotal. Kane is depicted here in his Nostromo uniform, which he wears early in the film, prior to setting down on LV-426. I actually don’t recall him being without his jacket for very long, so it’s omission is a little odd. Seeing as the figure includes a chestburster piece, I would think his “last supper” look might be more appropriate, but I suppose DST felt like being different. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. Kane is built on the standard body, with a sculpted hairpiece and a watch (same as the one on Ripley). As far as I can tell, the hair is new to the figure. It seems to me that Kane probably could have made do with a re-use if it meant giving Ripley a new piece that was more appropriate, but there might be more to it than that. Regardless, the piece is well sculpted and seems like a pretty good match for his look from the movie. Kane’s paintwork is very nicely done. Everything is nice and clean, and all the colors seem just right. The likeness isn’t spot on, but I’d chalk that up to Hurt’s likeness not transferring to the style. The eyes and mouth are definitely right. Kane includes a facehugger, a chestburster, an extra head, and a clear display stand. The facehugger is a little difficult to get on at first, but it’s very well sculpted and it even features the appropriate detailing on the inside. The chestburster and extra head allow for a recreation of the memorable “birth scene.” The ‘burster is well sculpted and fits pretty well in place. It also covers enough of his torso to make this look like the appropriate uniform, so kudos to DST on that!

PARKER

Alien35th4Parker probably marks the set’s oddest inclusion, as he’s not a character who’s incredibly key to the plot. That said, he’s one of the last survivors, and my personal favorite character, so no complaints there. This figure has the notoriety of being the first Parker figure ever, so that’s cool. Parker is about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. He’s based on Parker’s look roughly mid-movie, after he’s ditched his coat. The figure is built from the standard Minimate with a sculpted hairpiece. The piece is new to this figure and it’s a good translation of the look from the movie. Parker has a pretty decent paint job. His uniform is well detailed and everything is nice and clean. The only real issue I have is that his skin tone just seems to be too light for Yaphet Koto. This ends up throwing off the likeness, which is otherwise pretty spot-on. Parker includes a flamethrower, a flame attachment (though that could easily be paired with Ripley, too), and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This boxed set was a Christmas gift from my parents. I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say that it’s my last gift of the Christmas 2014 season. Obviously, this set, being based on the first movie, isn’t going to ignite me with the same excitement as the Aliens Minimates, but I do think they turned out pretty nicely. The real weak link of the set is definitely Ripley, who really isn’t accurate to her appearance in the first film. But hey, put a pulse rifle in her hands and you’ve got a pretty great Aliens Ripley, so it’s not a total loss!

#0455: Kane

KANE

ALIENS (NECA)

So, hey guys, remember back in that Wolverine review I did where I indicated that there was a possibility that I might not be done with my Christmas Reviews? Yeah, turns out I wasn’t. I have this habit of asking for things that aren’t out quite in time for Christmas. Case in point, NECA’s third series of Aliens figures. But now they’re here and I’m totally stoked to get these guys reviewed!

In the second series of the line, NECA released the Big Chap, the version of the creature from the first film. This kicked off NECA’s 35th Anniversary tribute, which continues through both Series Three and Four. For Three, the figure is Kane, the ill-fated astronaut who serves as the creatures “parent.” Let’s have a look at how he turned out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kane is part of NECA’s Aliens Series Three. The figure is based on Kane’s space-suited appearance, from when he, Dallas, and Lambert are exploring the derelict ship. Specifically, this figure is based on Kane from the end of that sequence, after he’s been “face-hugged.” Essentially, this serves as an excuse to release a Kane figure without the impossible to obtain John Hurt likeness. Kane is about 7 inches tall and features 24 points of articulation, which is quite impressive for this design. Kane features an all-new sculpt, though most of his sculpt was done with a bunch of re-use in mind. Series Four will see this body re-used on not one, but two other figures, and if NECA ever gets Veronica Cartwright’s likeness rights, we’re guaranteed another. To be fair, the Nostromo space suits are all built the same way, so re-use is very much warranted. The suit is fantastically sculpted; every surface is properly textured and all of the details look pretty much spot on to the movie’s design. Many pieces are made from rubber add-ons, affixed to the main figure, which adds some really great dimension to the figure. For figure specific pieces, there’s a head and a two-piece removable helmet. The helmet is a great match for the suit, and it even features the proper melting on the faceplate, replicating the facehugger’s entry-point. Under the helmet is the figure’s head, which, for being a sculpt that legally can’t be John Hurt, is remarkably movie accurate. The facehugger is a completely separate piece, glued in place, and it looks like it should. What can be seen of the head is pretty great too, looking just like John Hurt…..’s ears and hair (and just in case you’re wondering, no, there isn’t an Hurt face under the facehugger, though it does get pretty darn close). The figure’s paint is decent, though not quite as good as the sculpt. There’s a moderate amount of bleed over. The suit and armored pieces feature some nice weathering, but the armored parts are tacky, I’d assume due to some chemical reaction. Other than that, the paint is actually quite nice. I especially like the differences in the finishes on the head, which further emphasize the differences between Kane and the facehugger. Kane is packed with a flare gun and a flashlight, both of which are nicely done and movie accurate.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kane, along with the rest of Series Three, was a slightly delayed Christmas Gift from my supremely supportive parents. I’ll fully admit that Kane was not at the top of my list for this series. Still, it’s a pretty signature look, and it’s a good design, so I knew it had potential. Aside from the issue with the sticky armor, Kane is far beyond my expectations for the figure. He’s a really great figure, and he’s made me anxious to get some of the other space suited figures.

#0085: Kane

KANE

ALIEN REACTION

For Day 7 of my post-Christmas Review, I’ll be taking a look at another figure from the first wave of Funko’s Alien ReAction line.  For the details of how this line came to be, go ahead and read up about it in my review of Ripley.

Today, I’ll be looking at the Alien’s first true victim, Kane.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kane was part of the first wave of the Alien ReAction series.  Kane has a few looks over the course of the film, but they decided to depict him in his space suit from the scenes where the crew explores the planet.  It’s probably the best choice for a character like Kane, as most of his key scenes occur on the planet surface.  Kane stands 3 ¾ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  Kane probably has the best sculpt in the line, and it’s a pretty good sculpt even by today’s standards.  The suit has texturing on pretty much every surface of the figure, which is certainly impressive.  While the facial likeness isn’t anything amazing, I was actually surprised by how much of John Hurt I could see in it, which is really neat.  The paint is once again on the simple side, but it does its job, and looks appropriate to what the figure’s going for.  Kane’s only real accessory is his removable helmet, which is really cool.  It clicks on well and stays in place without much issue.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like with Ripley and Dallas, Kane was a gift from my super awesome parents.  He’s definitely a top contender for best in the wave, and he’s just a lot of fun in general.  I’m hopeful that Funko decides to continue the line so that we can get Lambert and Dallas in their accompanying space suits.  I feel like Kane’s a figure that you could enjoy even if you aren’t a big fan of the style.